It’s great to be back in Switzerland, specifically Geneva which is a big focal point for the science community, with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN having generated so much interest recently. It’s a relatively well-known fact that the big underground loop of the LHC crosses international borders; the buildings above the surface are a real cross-border effort too. On that subject, it’s interesting to see that since my last visit in the summer of 2008, Switzerland has joined the Schengen zone so moving in and out of the country is friction-free. As well as re-discovering the city –
It was great to visit Rotterdam this week – the Netherlands’ second city. This was pretty much a day trip but thanks to its close proximity to the UK and the speed of Eurotunnel it’s possible to squeeze a nice long day trip from it. I’m pleased I found the time to ascend the Euromast – the views from there across the city were really striking. I must also mention the photos in the tourist information office showing the extent of the damage done in World War II and snapshots of the rebuilding efforts over the years. It was quite
Gibraltar is a wonderful home away from home for me; I’m sure others feel the same way. It may only be 6.7 square km but they certainly pack a lot in around “The Rock”, with the added benefit that there’s plenty of sea around it to be reclaimed bit by bit for extra stuff. This wasn’t my first visit to this warm, interesting, inviting country on the Med, but certainly my longest visit, with Gibraltar being my main destination rather than a stop along the way. Highlights on this trip included: Airport and runway: at the top end of Gibraltar.
Puerto Rico is a wonderful island in the Caribbean. A US territory, it has a rich culture and way of doing things all of its own. I really love how the Caribbean island culture takes a slight steer from its US influence but is very much its own thing. Just a short domestic flight away from Miami, although one hour ahead of there, there are stark contrasts between the city life in San Juan and many other areas of the island. There is a rich history here and of course mixed views about the level of US involvement that there
Miami is an excellent place to visit and has something for virtually everyone. Its Art Deco heritage is very much worth exploring, with – I think – the largest collection of such buildings in the world. In a fortunate but unplanned turn of events, I was there during the annual Art Deco weekend which sees parts of Ocean Drive closed to normal traffic so buildings can be explored and the various stalls and activities can be watched. You can find out more about the Art Deco Weekend here. The main highlights here for me have been: The bus tour of
I really enjoy visiting extreme points on the map and this is one of the big ones for me. Key West sits at the end of a breathtaking drive from the city of Miami along the Overseas Highway – Highway 1 – traversing the Florida Keys. Not far from Mile 0 – the end of the road – is the marker setting out the southernmost point of the continental USA, just 90 miles away from Cuba. This was in fact a day trip in the Mustang rented in Miami (I’ll write more about this in the main Miami post), mainly